He inquired, "Where in the world are the highest quality untouched tea plants located?"
I responded, "Korea?"
"Hahahaha.... no, no. They are in Burma, bordering Yunnan." He cheerfully added.
He then went on to say that the old growth big arbour trees that boarder Yunnan are of the same variety but that trees do not make artificial boarders like people do. He also added that as soon as Myanmar becomes open to the outside world he plans on visiting to make local connections, gather mao cha for puerh, and press some cakes.
What is interesting is that there is absolutely no mention in English of puerh ever being produced in Burma. There are a few sites on the web which mention Burmese tea varieties such as green, oolong, and black (See here and here). However, most information on Burmese tea focuses on lahpet tea (tea leaf salad), a type of tea that is unique to Burma as it undergoes pickling and is eaten. No sites even mention Puerh tea and instead focus purely on plantation tea. This makes sense because Burma has a long history of cultivating tea. The legend of how tea came to be cultivated in Burma speaks to tea's historical importance in Burma. As it goes...
Myanmar people believed that tea growing was first initiated and introduced during the Bagan era. Legend has it that King Alaung Sithu, (AD1113-1167) on his majestic royal tour to Namhsan, a small town in Northern Shan State, presented some tea seeds to the local Palaung people in that area. From then onwards, tea growing increases rapidly and flourishes throughout Myanmar in areas with favorable climatic condition. (from Nagar Pyan Tea).
Wonder if that Korea tea master has booked his flights yet?